Due to an early Labor Day holiday this year Monticello Raceway’s live racing schedule will change slightly in September.
Since Labor Day falls on Monday, September 2 the raceway will be dark that afternoon and to keep continuity with the four-day a week schedule a race card has been added on Friday September 6. After that date racing will be back to the usual Monday through Thursday format throughout the remainder of the month.
The weatherman cooperated wonderfully on Thursday afternoon, August 15 with the sun shining brightly and the temperatures hovering around 75-degrees.
On the racetrack sophomore trotting fillies were featured in three divisions of the $155,000 NY Sires Stakes and five splits of Excelsior Series trots each racing for a $12,700 purse. And to go along with the NYSS filly trots there were two overnight trots, and despite 10 trotting races on the half-mile track still fans wagered $746,943 on the racing card.
There’s an old adage that states ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try again’. That’s what owner Dominick Rafanelli of Hazlet, NJ did yesterday (August 13 )at Monticello Raceway when he again claimed Stoman, the veteran pacer who has won seven of his last eight races. Although there are caveats to be considered in the aforementioned maxim perhaps it may be more of a case of what goes around comes around since this is the third time in the past six weeks at Rafanelli is Stoman’s the owner of record
After a few months hiatus Monticello Raceway’s Heritage Drivers Series is set to resume on Thursday afternoon, August 29 with a race for drivers of British Heritage, dubbed the Mayflower Mile.
The event, will be the seventh leg of the Raceway’s year-long Heritage Drivers Series and the winning driver in the Mayflower Mile will represent the “Brits” in the series finale slated later this fall.
Just a few weeks ago when Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. notched his 11,000th career victory there was nearly as much to-do about the blanket he was presented in the winner’s circle that stated his milestone as there was for his accomplishment.
On Friday, September 6 Monticello Raceway will present its third annual All Amateur Day. Although, not an uncommon event in other countries, each of the pari-mutuel races on that afternoon card will feature some of the best and most experienced amateur drivers in North America.
But this year the All Amateur Day has added meanings.
After winning the Monticello Raceway training title by one win on the final day of racing last year Danny Gill has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. This year the 57 year old trainer is on a tear and has already harnessed 125 winners, six more than it took to win the title last season.
“I’ve got 27 horses on the grounds, most of them owned by the Hall brothers, Ed and Jake. With a huge stable I’m able start a lot of horses and have been lucky enough to rack-up a lot of wins,” Gill said.
When the judges drew the Thursday, August 1st card which featured nine divisions of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sires Stakes and the Excelsior Series it was anticipated to be the best racing program thus far this season at Monticello Raceway.
Unfortunately the steady falling rains that afternoon damped the highly anticipated expectations and the racetrack too, still with the races were exciting and well contested and racing fans, both on and off track, poured over $878,000 through the betting machines.
Bruce Aldrich Jr. the beat goes on. Monticello Raceway’s driving leader reined four more winners on the Wednesday (July 31) program and now has 229 for the current meet. When that total is added to his seasonal resume Aldrich now has 340 wins thus far this season which ranks him tied for sixth in wins on the North American leaderboard.
“I’m having the best season of my career,” Aldrich said.” Now that I’ve given-up training I can concentrate more on my driving.”
Recently at Monticello Raceway there has been a rash claiming being done with horses that have had long winning streak each finding new homes. Some even changing barns weekly.
Two horses, Tom Riddle, with four wins in a row in $5,000 and $7,5000 claimers before winning again yesterday( July 30) in$12,500 company and Stoman, whose five race win skein in $12,500 claimers was stopped on Tuesday when he was beaten in the final strides in $20,000 claiming event.